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JENNITES (Tribelands of the)

Location: South central plains of the continent of Iciria, north of the Sea of Yr, south of the Tanagoro Plains, between Nithia and Milenia. HW

Area: 180,000 sq. mi. (466,200 sq. km.).

Population: 400,000 living in tribal groups averaging 1,000 members.

Languages: Jennite, Neathar.

Coinage: None (barter only).

Taxes: Tribes levy goods and corvée labour based on need.

Government Type: Semi-independent clans ruled by chiefs occasionally unified by a chagan (khan).

Industries: Cattle raising, horse breeding, gold smithing, raiding.

Important Figures: Trudar (King, human, male, F15), Rathyka (Queen, human, female, Dr15).

Flora and Fauna: Steppes grasses, aurochs herds, giant beetles, bugbears, lions, chimeras, cockatrices, dinosaurs, dragons, hill giants, gnolls, griffons, hippogriffs, horses, giant lizards, giant locusts, manticores, ogres, pegasi, giant scorpions, sphinxes, trolls, aardvarks, wolves, cats, bulettes, giant ants, and especially rabbits.

Further Reading: Hollow World boxed set, previous almanacs.

Description by Theukidikies the Historian of Corisa.

The Jennites are a nomadic horse people who infest the plains between Milenia and Nithia, following their herds.

The Land

The lands of the Jennites are a vast steppelands, mostly flat but broken by the occasional range of hills or copse of trees. They lay in the temperate zone of southern Iciria, but cold winds blow hard from the south. These lands are lush in grass and thus make good ranges for cattle and other animals, and provide plenty for herdsmen or hunters. If it were not for the Jennites, who cleave hard to nomadic ways, they would also make good croplands, as the Milenians will one day prove-mark my words. These lands run all the way from the banks of the Dagol River in the west to the deserts and wastes on the eastern edge of the Plains of Teuz, bound by the Sea of Yr in the south and the jungles of the Tanagoro in the north, though the Tanagoro and the Jennites share (and clash in) some of the northeastern plains.

The People

These wide lands are home to the Men of Jen, or Jennites, a nomadic people seemingly born in the saddle. They make no permanent dwellings, but rather range over the land, following their herds of aurochs as they eat the grasses, and pursuing the hunt likewise. As they deplete one area, they simply move on across the steppelands. Thus their dwellings are made to be temporary and mobile, easily taken down in one place and put up in another, like the tents of soldiers, but made to house whole families. These they move in wagons, with some wagons being set up as dwellings unto themselves, with others being used to transport belongings and supplies.

The Jennites are a coppery-skinned people with dark hair and dark eyes, like the Azcans or Oltecs. The women wear their hair long, the men cutting it short but wearing long, spiky moustaches or short spiky beards. They dress in garments of wool and felt, to keep out the wind and damp, with women and men dressing alike, most unnaturally. Their women even fight alongside their men, and their counsel is heeded in decisions. But, in the end, it is the men who rule, so they are not totally without sense. The Jennites are expert riders who trust to their mounts almost as much as they do each other, and they are all very skilled in using the bow, which is their national weapon, from horseback. Strangely to my mind, they are also excellent goldsmiths, making fine golden jewellery of their wealth and wearing it in abundance. The Jennites have great scorn for those who do not ride, and do not value infantry no matter how often they are beaten by our Milenian footmen.

The Jennites are great gift-givers, with the custom of exchanging gifts highly regarded among their people. This you should keep in mind at all times when meeting the Jennites, for if you do not offer their chief a gift and accept one in exchange, they will be highly offended, and attack you for insulting them. If you do cleave to this custom, however, they will treat you as valued guests, welcoming you into their encampment as friends. It is a terrible thing to be captured by the Jennites in war, however, for they execute all captives with their swords. They follow the Immortal Tarastia, and are very mindful of vengeance, leaving no slight unpunished. As a result, there are many feuds among them, most of which go back as far as those involved can remember, each blaming the other side for real or imagined slights. I must say, though, that they do have a keen sense of honour and justice, and they do not punish arbitrarily or without cause.

The Jennites are ruled over by tribal chieftains or chagans, though these, rather than ruling with an iron fist, except in times of war or battle, listen to the advice of tribal elders, especially the priests of Tarastia. Usually their tribes are disunited and fractious, feuding as described above. But occasionally a great and magnetic leader will arise among them, unifying them into a great and fearsome force. They then often ride forth to terrorise the surrounding nations in a great horde.